SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Sports) - Rookie player, rookie father.
Jazz rookie guard Kevin Murphy missed the first two practices of his NBA career last week, but he had a good excuse. Namely, Kevin Murphy Junior.
Murphy's wife, Shekedra, gave birth to the couple's first child on October 3rd. Murphy was given permission by the Jazz to fly to Atlanta to be there.
"It was an amazing feeling just for me to be able to go home," said Murphy. "The organization was very supportive of me going home, so it was a great experience for me."
Murphy is back in Utah, but misses his family dearly.
"It is a bittersweet feeling," he said. "But, my wife understands that this is my job and I have to be here. She's very supportive of me being out here. Plus, they're coming out here at the end of this month, so it will be good for me."
But when his family joins him in Salt Lake City, will Shekedra make Kevin change diapers in the middle of the night?
"She actually said she wouldn't only on my off days," Kevin said with a smile.
Because he missed some practices last week, Murphy, a 2nd-round pick out of Tennessee Tech, did not play in the Jazz preseason opener at Golden State on Monday. But he hopes to see some playing time Friday night against Oklahoma City.
"I'm just waiting for my number to be called," said Murphy, who scored 18 points in the Jazz scrimmage on Saturday. "I'm on the sideline cheering my teammates and supporting them. When I get in, I hope they support me the same way I support them."
Life can be rough in the for a rookie, let alone a first-time dad. But Murphy has latched on to a few Jazz veterans to help him adjust to the rigors of the NBA.
"Mo [Williams], Randy [Foye], Marvin [Williams], they've all been real cool to me," Murphy said. "They're kind of showing me the ropes, so I like that about them."
As long as he doesn't ask them to help change any diapers.